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World War 11 Casualties


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Gilbert Eric Kenneth




R.A.A.F. Machine Crashes In Victoria  MELBOURNE, Sunday.

STAFF pilot and two Tasmanian R.A.A.F. trainees were killed on Friday when their aircraft struck a tree during low-level bombing practice, and dived into the ground. The crash occurred 10 miles north-east of Werribee, Victoria.  

L.A.C. Robert John Cranston (left) and L.A.C. Eric Kenneth Gilbert of Hobart, who were killed in an air training accident near Werribee (V.) on Friday.

The aircraft was destroyed. Those  killed were

Leading Aircraftman John Albert McKenzie (20), unmarried, of Minlaton, S.A. (pilot).

Leading Aircraftman Robert John Cranston (23), unmarried, of New Town (T.)..

Leading Aircraftman Eric Kenneth Gilbert (21), unmarried, of Moonah (T.).L.A.C. Eric Kenneth Gilbert was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs: Fred Gilbert. He was formerly in the accounts branch of the Government Printing Office at Hobart. He joined the Militia at the age of 17 and transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force last year. He received his wings last Easter. He was well known in athletic circles in Hobart. He played "A" grade cricket for Glenorchy and was : member of the New Town Football Club's first eighteen. He was a prominent swimmer and as a member of the Cornelian Bay Club won the president's cup for a trans-Derwent swim from Lindisfarne to Cornelian Bay.

L.A.C. Robert John Cranston was   the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. George B. Cranston. He entered the Government Insurance Office   Hobart, on leaving the Hobart Technical School. Subsequently he was with the Northern Tyre Service in Cairns, Queensland. In Cairns he   captained cricket and football teams and served in the Militia for ll months. He returned to Hobart lo enlist in the R.A.A.F. and while awaiting call-up about nine months ago was assistant branch manager of the Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Co. (Australia) Ltd. He was a close friend of L.A.C. Gilbert, and like him, also, was a prominent swimmer with the Cornelian Bay Club. He played "A" grade tennis in Tasmania and "B" grade cricket. He and L.A.C. Gilbert enlisted in Hobart on the same day and had been together in the same training courses They received their wings at the same time.

A combined service in memory of the airmen will be held in St. David's Cathedral, Hobart, on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning. The remains will be taken to Tasmania.

THE MERCURY 11 May 1942





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